Tuesday February 19, 2013No. 13 Florida Uses Balanced Effort To Win At UCF, 5-3
Four different players turned in multiple-hit efforts to lead No. 13 Florida (3-1) to a 5-3 victory over UCF (2-2) in front of a record crowd of 3,678 fans on Tuesday night at Jay Bergman Field. Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers (Seffner, Fla.) continued his torrid start by going 3-for-4 with his third home run in the past two games and senior Vickash Ramjit (Miami, Fla.) (2-for-5) belted his first round-tripper of the season and scored twice. The Gators’ top two hitters in the lineup were a combined 5-for-10 (.500), as freshman Richie Martin (Brandon, Fla.) (3-for-5) had a career-high three hits and freshman Harrison Bader (Bronxville, N.Y.) went 2-for-5. Freshman left-hander Parker Danciu (Delray Beach, Fla.) (2-0) worked 3.1 innings, scattering five hits and yielding two runs, to earn the win, while sophomore Johnny Magliozzi (East Milton, Mass.) retired all five Knights he faced to record his second save.
The Gators used a sacrifice fly by sophomore Justin Shafer (Lake Wales, Fla.) in the first inning off senior Brian Adkins (0-1) to open the scoring. Martin had legged out an infield single with one down and sophomore Casey Turgeon (Palm Harbor, Fla.) followed with a base-hit through the left side to advance his teammate to third. Shafer lofted a fly ball into right field to bring home Martin and collect his first RBI of the campaign.
Ramjit put the visitors ahead, 2-0, with a leadoff homer on the first pitch of the second inning to left field. It was his first dinger since May 18 last season at Auburn. After Powers followed with a base-hit into left field, Adkins recorded the next two outs. However, Bader and Martin loaded the bags with two down courtesy of singles. Adkins had Turgeon fly out on a full count to center field to hold the Knights’ deficit at two runs.
UCF threatened in the home part of the inning, as sophomore James Vasquez (2-for-4) began the inning with a sharp single up the middle and junior Parker Webster drew a one-out walk. Making his first collegiate start, freshman catcher Kevin Stypulkowski (Lake Worth, Fla.) picked Webster off first base and junior Keenan Kish (Worcester, Pa.) fanned sophomore Tommy Williams to keep the hosts scoreless.
Kish worked the first two innings, allowing two hits with a season-high three strikeouts, before giving way to Danciu. Sophomore JoMarcos Woods led off with a single into left field but was erased on a fielder’s choice by senior Ryan Breen. Danciu had redshirt senior Erik Hempe hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play that was started by Powers.
Powers led off the fourth inning with a shot to right field to give the Gators a 3-0 lead. His 10 RBI, all in the past two outings, lead the squad.
UCF loaded the bases with two down in the home part of the frame but came away empty-handed. Danciu set down the first two Knights before Vasquez reached on a fielding error by Turgeon. Senior Austin Johnston (2-for-4) doubled into the left-field corner to advance Vasquez to third base and Webster earned a free pass to fill the sacks. Danciu punched out Williams to end the inning.
Helped by a pair of UCF errors in the sixth, Florida expanded its margin to 5-0. The Gators put their first two runners in scoring position, as Ramjit reached on an error by senior third baseman Chris Taladay and Powers blooped a single into left field. Adkins struck out Stypulkowski and senior Cody Dent (Boynton Beach, Fla.) and was replaced by freshman Zac Favre. Over 5.2 innings, Adkins surrendered 10 hits and five runs (three earned), with three strikeouts and zero walks. Favre had Bader in the hole at 0-2 but a throwing miscue by Williams at shortstop enabled Ramjit and Powers to come home.
The Knights pulled with 5-2 in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer by Vasquez and a two-out RBI single by Williams. Vasquez connected on UCF’s first homer of the season to right field for a 5-1 score. A double to straightaway center field by Johnston prompted a pitching change, as sophomore Ryan Harris (Jupiter, Fla.) came in for Danciu (3.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R). The reliever had Webster ground out and Williams stroked a base-knock up the middle to score Johnston and narrow the hosts’ deficit to three runs.
A one-out single by Hempe in the seventh brought junior Daniel Gibson (Lutz, Fla.) into the contest for Harris (1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R). A wild pitch by the southpaw enabled Hempe to reach third base and Taladay’s RBI grounder to second base resulted in a 5-3 score. Gibson had senior Jeramy Matos ground out to end the stanza.
Powers drew a leadoff walk in the eighth from senior Jimmy Reed and moved into scoring position with his second stolen base of the year with one down. Another free pass to Dent caused a pitching move, with redshirt sophomore Spencer Davis taking over on the mound for Reed (1.1 IP). Powers was thrown out at third for the second out and Bader reached on an infield single for runners on the corners with two down. Davis retired Martin on a comebacker to the mound to prevent the Gators from adding to their lead.
Gibson struck out Vasquez and Magliozzi entered the game. The righty had Webster fly out to right field then froze Webster looking at strike three to complete the eighth and set down the Knights 1-2-3 in the ninth to nail down the Gators’ third-straight win. Florida had a 13-9 advantage in hits, as seven of nine starters chipped in with at least one.
The Gators begin an eight-game homestand at McKethan Stadium tomorrow night at 7 p.m. by hosting Georgia Southern (2-1). Shafer (0-0, 6.75) will be on the mound tomorrow night against Eagle freshman left-hander Evan Challenger (0-0, 0.00). GSU opened its campaign by taking two of three games from Georgia. The game will be carried live on Sun Sports/FOX Sports Florida with Nick Belmonte and Mick Hubert and can be heard on the Gator IMG Sports Network with Jeff Cardozo and Steve Russell.
· Head coach Kevin O’Sullivan improved to 5-2 against UCF, 3-1 in Gainesville and 2-1 in Orlando.
· Junior right-hander Keenan Kish and freshman catcher Kevin Stypulkowski each made his first collegiate start tonight.
· Sophomore Casey Turgeon extended his season-opening hitting streak to four games with a first-inning single.
· Senior Vickash Ramjit’s solo shot in the second inning made it three-straight games that the Gators have homered.
· Freshman Richie Martin has consecutive multiple-hit games after going 3-for-5.
· Seven of the Gators’ nine starters had at least one hit.
· Redshirt sophomore Zack Powers had reached base in seven-consecutive at bats before flying out in the ninth inning.
· Sophomore Johnny Magliozzi has converted both of his save opportunities this year.
· The Gators have totaled 13 hits in each of their last two games (2/17 vs. Duke, 2/19 vs. UCF).